This is my first post really about living with a spouse who is addicted to pornography. Up until this point I've been writing about my own recovery. But today I can't go to my recovery meeting because my son is sick, and I just need to share just to let it out. Venting into the void, I guess.
I wish I could say I have overcome all pain associated with my husband's slips. I wanted to be there in that safe place where my peace was uninterrupted. But when my husband has the kind of slip that he has had now, it effects me again in a way I didn't expect. What hurts isn't necessarily what he looked at or if he acted out physically while looking, but that his intent was there. He sought it out.
For a while now every time my husband has confessed to me about a slip it has been because he was looking at something else online and got caught off guard with something. Or he was checking to see if the safe eyes system we have installed really works by purposefully searching a fowl keyword. That always drove me nuts. What does he think is going to happen? Of course if you look for it something will sneak its way through the system.
But this time, he'd happened upon a stupid YouTube video off to the side and ignored it, but days later was still haunted and tempted to go seek it out again until finally he did.
He told me he'd fought off the temptation all of Monday because it was my birthday and he didn't want to slip on that day.
So he waited until the next day...while I was in the other room no less!
That was the first I had it brought to my attention he'd struggled while I was home. It's been usually a problem if I go out for long periods of time and he's got idle time on his hands when temptation will strike.
I had a friend of mine give me a lecture recently on how I need to stand up for myself and take time away more often. My husband gets to go out to go golfing or fishing or off to (unbeknownst to her) recovery meetings, and I don't go out except for on the rare occasion that it's a friend's birthday or someone happens to be throwing a baby shower or something (or for my own recovery meeting). She went on about it until she finally started talking about herself, which I knew is where the lecture really rooted from in the first place. I could just sort of nod and shrug at her suggestions because I know how it looks to her. To an outsider who doesn't understand the situation, my husband gets to do whatever he wants and I watch the kids. Then when I go out I have got to get home soon to take care of the kids or because my husband is feeling anxious for some reason. It looks like I don't get a life or that I'm controlled.
Well, I am controlled, but it's not because of what they think.
I do feel like every single time I go out he has a slip. I know it's not my fault because I cannot take that responsibility. It's out of my control. But at the same time, I know it's easier for him to slip when I'm not there so it's made me, without realizing it, become more of a hermit. But it's not just to keep him from slipping, but it's a form of protection for my children. I hate going out with the risk that he will slip and one of these times my son will happen along to see or hear or witness something. It's my nightmare. At some point my kids will be exposed to something, at some point in their lives they will- it's inevitable- but my hope is to keep that point in time from happening until they're at least a little older. My oldest is only 7.
Not that there are a lot of friends for me to go out with anyway, but it is nice to have a night out once in a while, and I'm talking about more then twice a year, and I'm talking about more then just dates out with my husband.
That being said...somehow it hurt that much more that I was in the other room when he slipped this time. Why? Why couldn't he have just come to me or called his support person? He knew for days he was being tempted and trying to fight it off. He didn't.
The addiction doesn't want him to get support. The addiction wants to be kept a secret so it can continue to thrive and control his life.
I thought I was past feeling that disappointment in him and that hurt. My recovery has helped me understand him more, and become better for myself, and to be a stronger support for him, but I still cannot be his support person. He has to rely on someone else more then me because it still hurts me. As long as I've been in recovery, it still hurts.